Apr 8, 2006, 4:14 PM
Post #79 of 128
Yeah, I'd ditto HopperFu's advice: call the program, get in touch with actual students. If I'd listened to the second-, third-, and fourth-hand grumblings about Iowa, rather than talking to students here, I would have had a very ill-informed conception of the program.
Re: [HopperFu] how to get the skinny on a program
[In reply to]
I think this board is particularly helpful when you're trying to decide where to apply, and for gauging how competitive and subjective this process is. But once you get in somewhere, you can get information directly from the source -- faculty, current students, maybe even former students. That's a much better source than an outsider's interpretation of a few lines from a school's web site, or the kind of "I knew someone who knew someone whose sister said Ohio State's teachers only liked experimental fiction" things that crop up on message boards.
I think you can expect the students to be honest about the pros and cons of the program -- they don't have anything at stake in trying to convince you to go there. It's also probably a good idea to talk to multiple people and try to balance what you hear. One person may be miserable at a particular program for reasons that have nothing to do with the program itself (they miss the ocean, they have a crappy apartment, someone trashed their story last week in workshop). So the more opinions you can get, the better.